Technology and property investment—How do they work together?

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Technology and property investment—How do they work together?

By Bianca Dabu | 09 May 2018

Adam Rigby claims to have revolutionised the property investment experience by establishing Upside Realty, an agency business with technology as one of its main foundations. How is this changing the landscape?

The business was basically built from scratch, according to Mr Rigby, after he noticed the general dissatisfaction among investors. 

Based on his observation through the years that he has worked as a property professional, investors often desire changes in terms of services, price points and even the transparency around the process.

Inspired by this knowledge, he rethought the process and used technology to build a platform that provides high-quality, cost-efficient and transparent services.

He said: “We used technology to build a platform, which means that vendors and buyers can see everything that's happening during the process. We've got an amazing pricing policy and approach, which is a flat fee of $7,500 for a private treaty and $8,500 for an auction.”

“What we're doing is lifting the service levels you get for that, and we're seeing great results,” the agent highlighted.

However, contrary to what others believe, property technology businesses don’t seek to replace the human factor in the process. Instead, they work to augment the skills and capabilities of real estate agents in order to provide better services to buyers and investors alike.

Transparency

One of Mr Rigby’s top priority as head of a proptech business is to provide transparency to their clients.

Take Uber for example: Consumers feel a lot more at ease knowing who is driving the car, how far away he is as well as the estimation of price.

He sought to give the same sense of security to investors by improving communication channels through technology and maximising the potential of the world wide web.

According to Mr Rigby: “When you look at the way that real estate used to be sold, all the communication and all the information was through your agent via telephone—how many people saw the property, where you're at with getting it prepared for the campaign, what's the negotiation process. All of that is kind of hidden unless you have a conversation with the agent.”

Now, instead of having to dial their agent’s number to keep in touch and be updated, investors can review every step of the process through a private online account, ensuring for themselves that they don’t miss any information they need.

This feature aims to benefit all investors, particularly those whose agents or properties are not in the same location as them and those who have ongoing transactions overseas.

Mr Rigby explained: “What we've done is we've opened all of that up so that you can log into your private website and see every step of the process of selling your property. That's fantastic, particularly in the investment space where you're not in the same location as your property or your agent.”

“We've sold properties for vendors who are overseas, so ... that is even more effective because they can log in anytime and get the full update that they want to get on a daily basis,” he added.

Efficiency

Aside from transparency, Mr Rigby also believes in the power of technology to improve the efficiency of a business. Through technology, they were able to establish a 24/7 call centre to respond to inquiries anytime and track the conversations to provide better services to their clients in the future.

By improving efficiency, they are able to increase the agents’ productivity and, thereby, offer a better price to their clients.

He highlighted: “We can help our agents be more productive and we can make sure that the service levels increase. And by doing that, by becoming more productive, we can, therefore, offer a better price.”

Overall, his proptech business does not seek to change property investment processes but improve them in every way possible through ever-advancing technologies.

After all, “just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved”.

“If you were to do things from scratch with a new thought process, why not use modern technology to do a better job at something that's been done in a certain way forever? That's what we've tried to do,” Mr Rigby concluded.

 

Tune in to Adam Rigby’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out how he thinks changing technology will impact the real estate industry in the future.

RELATED TERMS

Property

Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

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Technology and property investment—How do they work together?
Technology and property investment
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